By Sahil Patel
Hulu’s head of branded content Bryan Thoensen is no longer with the company, a source confirms to VideoInk.
Thoensen joined Hulu in 2011 to lead its original branded content initiatives — which have led to multiple series produced by or in partnership with brands like Subway, Chipotle, and Ford. His departure signals that the video company is no longer interested in brand-funded original content, wanting to take more of an ownership role in the original programming it distributes, according to sources.
News of Thoensen’s departure was first reported by Ad Age, which said that Hulu is also restructuring its branded content division to focus more on selling sponsorships and brand/product integrations for its original series.
Essentially, after years of only having one foot in the water when it came to original programming, Hulu is diving head-first as it attempts to seriously compete with Netflix and Amazon. In recent months, the company has ordered original series from JJ Abrams and Jason Reitman, two of the top filmmakers in Hollywood.
“As Hulu’s content slate has grown, we have evolved to offer advertisers more comprehensive integrated solutions, including targeted integration into original series,” Hulu said in a statement. “As part of this process, the integrated marketing team will work more closely with the ad solutions team to offer clients fully integrated, cross-platform opportunities.”
Thoensen has not responded to a request for comment. Prior to Hulu, he was a marketing executive at both WME and Miramax Films.